Schaeffler announces rear wheel steering partnership with Bosch

Intelligent mechatronic rear wheel steering system delivers improved ride comfort and efficiency

Global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler is embarking on a development partnership with Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH to expand its intelligent rear wheel steering (iRWS) portfolio.

Under the partnership, Schaeffler is providing mechatronic iRWS systems while Bosch Automotive Steering is contributing software and electronics in the form of steering control units.

Matthias Zink, CEO for automotive OEM at Schaeffler, said: “Combining the strengths of both companies enables us to create integrated systems that deliver superior added value to our customers.

“Intelligent rear wheel steering technology is a key milestone in Schaeffler’s journey to becoming the technology partner of choice for chassis systems.”

Schaeffler successfully launched its mechatronic intelligent ‘active roll control’ system (iARC) in 2015.

“The lessons we learned from that process flowed directly into the development of mechatronic Rear Wheel Steering”, said Dr. Keiwan Kashi, president for mechatronic systems at Schaeffler.

“By combining our expertise in mechatronics with our core competencies in the industrialization of mechanical and mechatronic components, we created a highly efficient product that can be tailored to customer requirements.”

How it works

The mechatronic iRWS unit improves ride comfort and safety which offers several key benefits in today’s rapidly urbanizing world.

By turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels, it reduces the turning radius, significantly increasing maneuverability in tight spaces, such as when parking in busy urban settings.

Moreover, the rear axle’s assistive steering action enhances handling, stability and ride comfort and improves vehicle safety.

Schaeffler’s rear-wheel steering system uses lightweight technologies and features a maximum overall weight of just eight kilograms.

At the heart of the system is a planetary roller gear that performs a self-locking function, ensuring that the rear wheels do not change direction without steering input from the driver.

The planetary screw drive also delivers superior efficiency.

Bosch’s contribution to the partnership is the steering control unit, an integrated module comprising control electronics, an electric motor and software.

Scalable and modular in design, this unit is fundamental to many of the driver-assistance functions in Schaeffler’s new rear-axle steering system.

Already a proven performer, the steering control unit has been successfully implemented in millions of front-axle steered vehicles.

It features Bosch security for robust protection against cyber attacks.

Functions and updates are supported by over-the-air (OTA) technology.

Dr. Stefan Waschul, head of passenger car steering systems at Robert Bosch Automotive Steering said: “Our third-generation steering control unit was launched just last year and is already doing very well in the market for front-axle steering control systems.

“Under this partnership, we will apply our expertise in this area to rear-axle steering systems and contribute the wealth of experience and technical know-how in software and E/E architecture that has made us the market leader in steering control systems.”

Based on signals from the steering wheel torque sensor, the steering control unit’s integrated electronic controller calculates the optimal steering assist, which is then delivered by the integrated electric motor.

In addition to the torque applied to the steering wheel by the driver, the calculation takes into account numerous other vehicle parameters.

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‘The Big Gadget Giveaway’ concludes

The Parts Alliance has wrapped up ‘The Big Gadget Giveaway’ promotion. The final set of September winners has been confirmed for the period from 21st to 26th September.

Allparts, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES, GMF Motor Factors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors, The Parts Alliance (South West) and Waterloo Motor Trade all ran the promotion.

Just some of the prizes won by garages during September…

Winning garages included Bank Top Garage (SAS Newcastle), Crescent Garage (GSF Leamington Spa) along with Summit MOT Centre, W. D. Motor Company and MS Autos Reading – customers of BBC Preston, BMF Kidderminster and GSF Reading.

Each won from prizes including a JVC 55” LED TV, an Apple iPad Air, an HP laptop, Sony PS5 games console, a Lenovo tablet , BT Premium WiFi system or Apple Watch.

“October has arrived and the days are getting shorter so we hope all this great technology makes more time spent indoors better for the huge number of garage winners,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “Thanks go to all the garages that supported this promotion in vast numbers once again.”

Scores more garages won gadgets in the final draw such as noise-cancelling headphones, an Amazon Kindle a Fitbit Charge and more.

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Less than a quarter of new cars still have a manual handbrake, research finds

Dacia is now the only mainstream manufacturer to offer standard mechanical handbrakes across its range

Traditional mechanical handbrakes are continuing to die out as car manufacturers ditch them in favour of electronic parking brakes.

Research by CarGurus found just 24 per cent of new cars on sale in the UK come with a manually operated handbrake, falling even further from 30 per cent recorded last year.

Popular models, including the BMW 1 series and 3 Series, Peugeot 208 and Nissan Juke all dropped classic manual handbrakes over the last year. 

Just one mainstream manufacturer, Dacia, has a manual handbrake on every model in the range with the majority of car makers only offering the part on sportier cars or cheaper superminis, with the likes of the Mazda MX-5, BMW M2 and the SEAT Ibiza all featuring one.

A handful of manufacturers have phased out the part completely and replaced it with an electronic parking brake, while some use a foot-operated parking brake.

The CarGurus study found that Alfa Romeo, DS, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche and Volvo no longer have any models on sale fitted with a traditional manual handbrake.

While traditionalists would argue that the electronic parking brake removes the tactile feel, mechanical simplicity and interactivity of the classic handbrake, they are still considered a luxury convenience and safety feature by many, requiring less physical effort to hold the car more securely without the need for any adjustments.

Most electronic handbrakes disengage automatically when you pull away, plus they often offer an automatic hill-hold assist function as an additional safety benefit.

Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus UK said: “It looks like the manual handbrake only has a few years left, as it continues its steady decline in the new car market, with nearly two dozen models removing it as an option over the last 12 months.

“We expect the number of cars on sale with traditional handbrakes to decline even further over the coming years, as it continues to be relegated to a feature across a select few sporty and small-volume models.

“Though the manual handbrake may soon be a thing of the past in brand-new cars, its demise might see some buyers dip into the used car market for some nostalgia.”

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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MANN-FILTER launches portal for promotional material

Products available online for purchasing

Filtration brand MANN-FILTER has launched a webshop for advertising materials available to workshops and wholesalers.

The MANN-FILTER shop currently offers more than 100 items from POS articles and practical office equipment through to beanies and caps.

The MANN-FILTER advertising material can be purchased from the webshop on account, as well as shipped abroad.

The shop also displays up-to-date information on stock levels so that purchasers immediately know the available quantity of their chosen products, ensuring the shortest possible delivery times.

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Infotainment system failure rife, survey finds

Voice recognition, connectivity and touchscreens reported to be common problem areas

A new survey has found that one third of drivers have experienced infotainment system failure.

In a survey of 1,000 people in the UK by Riverdale Leasing, 63 per cent of drivers do not trust their vehicle’s infotainment system.

The findings add weight to recently compiled customer insight which suggest that many motorists are unsure of how to use their cars’ infotainment systems and have also encountered reliability issues with the technology.

The 2020 Initial Quality Study by JD Power also revealed that a quarter of complaints from new drivers relate to infotainment, with the top problems coming from: built-in voice recognition Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity, touchscreens, built-in navigation systems and Bluetooth connectivity.

Meanwhile, data from research commissioned by IAM RoadSmart found that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto significantly affect reaction times and increase stopping distances.

Drivers who took part in Rivervale’s recent survey said that they found infotainment is an increasing distraction, with 30 per cent of respondents saying hands-free games such as mobile quiz apps are the most distracting feature, while 26 per cent said AR sat navs are the biggest distraction.

Road safety charity Brake reported that 49 per cent of drivers find infotainment distracting and 63 per cent agree that it should be restricted while operating the vehicle.

The survey also found that just 16 per cent of drivers want voice-controlled dashboards while 38 per cent said they favoured the traditional buttons, whereas 46 per cent would choose a touch screen.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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Yuasa celebrates ten years in BTCC with special livery and exclusive competition

Special livery and exclusive competition launch at Thruxton

Yuasa is celebrating its tenth-year anniversary in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and has launched a special one-off livery and and an exclusive competition at its home race at Thruxton last weekend.

Halfords Yuasa Racing drivers Matt Neal and Dan Cammish carried the special livery at Thruxton to highlight Yuasa’s illustrious ten years in the BTCC, one of the longest standing sponsors in the championship and motorsport.

Since Yuasa started sponsoring the works Honda BTCC team in 2010, they have shared together a phenomenal 76 race wins, 214 podiums, 4 drivers’ championships, 5 teams and 5 manufacturers titles.

The design is based on the bonnet of the iconic red and white 2013 Honda Civic FK2, driven by Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.

A car that secured Honda and Team Dynamics both the manufacturers and teams championship that year, whilst Gordon Shedden narrowly missed out on the drivers’ championship.

The design is a nod to their successes over the last ten years and is bound to bring back some nostalgia for the long-standing supporters.


In conjunction, Yuasa have also launched an exclusive competition to fans, giving them a chance to win five limited edition tenth-year anniversary prints signed by Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden and Dan Cammish.

The print is an artistic view of the battery brand’s previous BTCC challengers, looking back at the classic liveries and reflecting on the fantastic success they have shared with the team.

The competition is open to residents in UK and Ireland until the final race at Brands Hatch on Sunday 15 November.

There will be one winner after each of the remaining five BTCC rounds.

James Hylton, managing director at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd said: “We are incredibly proud to celebrate ten years in the British Touring Car Championship with Honda and Team Dynamics.

“Since our partnership began in 2010, we have enjoyed phenomenal success and many fantastic memories, both on and off the track.

“The Yuasa brand has become synonymous with BTCC racing and the works Honda team, it’s been such a big part of our business culture over the last ten years.”

Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and three time BTCC champion said: “We have had a great relationship with Yuasa over the past ten years, they have been massively supportive of our BTCC programme and quite frankly we couldn’t have done it without them.

“I have personally raced with Yuasa for that entire time and not only do we have a fantastic working relationship, but also have forged great friendships over that period.”

To enter Yuasa’s fantastic competition to win a limited edition 10-year anniversary print signed by Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden and Dan Cammish, simply follow Yuasa on any of their social media accounts, then go to the Yuasa website toanswer a BTCC question.

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UK car parc is “older than ever” despite push towards electric vehicles

Cars aged 13 or over have tripled in volume in past 25 years

Britain’s car parc is older than ever before despite the efforts of policymakers and environmentalists to get us behind the wheel of modern, fuel-efficient models and zero-emissions vehicles, according to official figures.

DVLA and Department for Transport data analysed by Retro Motor shows that in 2019 there were 6.086 million cars over 13 years old in the UK, approximately one-in-five of all vehicles on the road.

25 years earlier, in 1994, there were only 1.329 million cars of a similar age.

In 1994, the percentage of cars over 13 years old sat at 6.3 per cent, or just over one in 20 cars.

In 2019, that number sat at 19.1 per cent, or just under one in five, despite scrappage schemes and market-led incentives to get people into newer and more environmentally friendly cars.

Meanwhile, the average age of all cars on UK roads has increased from 6.7 years in 1994 to 8.3 years in 2019.

There were 21.1 million cars licensed in 1994, rising to 31.8 million in 2019.

But despite the growth in numbers of older vehicles, the news doesn’t necessarily mean that cars are less environmentally friendly as the mileages covered by modern, efficient cars are much higher.

Retro Motor founder Richard Aucock said: “You have to remember that a 13-year old car in 1994 was an early Eighties model with extremely high emissions and no catalytic converters, whereas cars from the mid-2000s were already starting to meet new Euro emissions legislation.

“In addition, there’s been a huge boom in the popularity of modern classics in recent years, which means that models from the Eighties and Nineties in particular have developed into collectors’ items.

“Throw into the mix the much-improved build quality of cars from this era and it’s easy to see why many of them remain loved and cherished by enthusiasts, rather than just be used as old bangers.”

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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Watch: How to replace Ford Fiesta FAG wheel bearings

Step-by-step video guide talks technicians through the process

REPXPERT has released a new technical video guide showing how to correctly replace the front and rear wheel bearings on a 2012 Ford Fiesta.

Renowned REPXPERT Alistair Mason talks through the process.

Technicians can register to the REPXPERT portal to access a wealth of technical support and training.

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Morning rush hour back to ‘normal’, stats show

RAC patrols called out to more rush-hour breakdowns than expected following return to school

The morning rush hour, a phenomenon last seen nearly six months ago, has returned with traffic levels back to levels seen in January, analysis by RAC Insurance has revealed.

Data from drivers with RAC black box devices fitted shows that the beginning of the school year in England has led to a marked rise in cars on the road, particularly at what appears to be the peak drop-off time of between 8am and 9am.

Looking at average weekday traffic between Monday 7 September and Wednesday 16 September, between these hours there were the same number of cars being driven as on a weekday in January.

Car volumes during these times were also up 55 per cent compared to the period before most schools had returned.

Car volumes are now at around the same level between the end of school ‘rush’ of 3pm and 4pm and evening ‘rush’ of between and 5pm and 6pm as was the case before the first coronavirus lockdown in March.

Daily RAC breakdown figures also show a ‘return to normal’, with mid-week call-outs in particular only a little below those seen during the first few winter months of the year.

However, since the schools returned RAC patrols have on average been called out to more rush-hour breakdowns than expected with this being balanced out by fewer later in the day.

RAC Insurance spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “The million-dollar question, of course, is what happens next and whether morning road traffic continues to rise in the autumn, or whether it stays at the sort of level we’re seeing now.

“The rising number of coronavirus cases, together with the introduction of local lockdowns and the threat of new nationwide restrictions, may also have an impact on people’s willingness to return to public transport.

“But while there is a huge number of possible scenarios that have the potential to change our travel habits, what does appear clear is that millions of us will continue to rely on the car for completing the journeys we have to make.”

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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Delphi Technologies Aftermarket expands GDi full service solution for Hyundai and Kia

Aftermarket GDi service solution launched for industry-first Multec 14 350-bar pressure injection system

Delphi Technologies Aftermarket is expanding its gasoline direct injection (GDi) full service solution for Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

The comprehensive program consists of pumps and injectors fitted as original equipment (OE) to more than three million popular Korean vehicles.

The company is also introducing an aftermarket solution for an industry-first GDi technology: Multec 14 (M14) 350-bar pressure injection system as it begins to enter the aftermarket.

Its comprehensive GDi solution already consists of pumps, injectors, and service kits fitted as OE to more than 3.9 million popular PSA vehicles.

Along with its pioneering GDi product portfolio, the aftermarket solution features comprehensive training, advanced diagnostics, testing and cleaning equipment, technical service, cataloging and market data.

By expanding its product offering to more than three million Hyundai and Kia models, the company increases its total number of premium end-to-end service opportunities by over 75 per cent for its aftermarket customers.

James Tibbert, EMEA marketing director for Delphi Technologies Aftermarket, said: “The GDi equipped new vehicle market is expected to grow by more than ten per cent annually through 2026 which presents an exciting opportunity for the aftermarket.

“Building on our pioneering OE expertise, our GDi solution provides technicians with everything they need to perform premium end-to-end service with access to leading all-makes diagnostics and test solutions that can increase vehicle uptime and garage profitability over 30 per cent.”

The growing GDi injector market introduces new and fast-changing technologies for which Hartridge and Delphi Technologies can provide cutting edge test solutions to the workshop.

The Excalibur GDi Master is a plug-and-play test bench capable of powerful flow and high frequency injection rates that allow it to test coil and piezo injectors of both GDi and PFI technology types in as little as five minutes.

With the Hartridge Excalibur GDi Master, aftermarket customers can differentiate themselves from the local competition with a fast return on investment in this easy market entry for new workshops.

Delphi Technologies is introducing an OE quality full service solution for its award-winning GDi technology: The Multec 14 (M14) 350-bar pressure injection system.

Launched in 2017, this industry-first GDi system increased injection pressure from the industry norm of 200 bar to 350 bar to help automakers meet both Euro 6d and China 6 emissions standards.

Fitted as OE to over 3 million vehicles, this GDi technology has begun to enter the aftermarket with owners seeking high-quality independent repairs.

Delphi Technologies’ GDi full service solution will enable garages to quickly and efficiently provide high-quality service for this new technology.

Tibbert added: “As an OE supplier, we understand the challenges of maintaining and repairing these highly advanced, high-pressure systems.

“That is where the support of an original equipment manufacturer can give garages a competitive advantage.

“Our expanded GDi service program will give independent garages the support they need to capitalize on this fast-growing market.”

You can read more here.

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